Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mindset The New Psychology of Success

Annotation provided by Kathleen Blough

Dweck, Carol S. (2006). Mindset. The New Psychology of Success.

New York: Ballatine Books.


Mindset breaks down the human thinking into two different mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. A person with the fixed mindset believes that your qualities are set, you are what you are and you better prove to everyone what you can do. The growth mindset person is based on the idea that through your efforts you can achieve just about anything. Throughout this book were examples of people with fixed and growth mindsets. Relating to real people made this book easier to follow and connect to. Looking at the actions of John McEnroe and Michael Jordan helped me see the difference between how people think. Cultivating a growth mindset is key to success. Knowing about the two mindsets help one start “thinking and reacting to problems in new ways”(p. 46). Reading this book helped me see and view people differently and that my students come to me with one or the other. Most of the time, we have students who have been groomed to think that there is only one way of doing things, which is the fixed mindset. I feel parents and our educational system have promoted this kind of thinking. What we need people to be aware of is which mindset has the potential for success in the future. We must remember, “people may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way”(p.5). We need to work toward a growth mindset, one in which we are happy to learn and not fear failure.

Relevant Quotes:

These quotes come from the chapter titled, “Sports: The Mindset of a Champion.”

“All of these people had character. None of them thought they were special people, born with the right to win. They were people who worked hard, who learned how to keep their focus under pressure, and who stretched beyond their ordinary abilities when they had to.”(p. 97)

“Those with the growth mindset found success in doing their best, in learning and improving.”(p. 98)

“Those with the growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They’re informative. They’re a wake-up call.”(p. 99)

“People with the growth mindset in sports (as in pre-med chemistry) took charge of the processes that bring success—and that maintain it.”(p.101)


These quotes sum up the idea surrounding mindset. If we can change the way we view problems, and if we can view ideas in a more productive way, then our lives will be richer. I feel that if people were aware of how we cultivate thinking, we might have more people with the growth mindset and our society in general would be more productive and not in such dire troubles. Of course, this is a fixed mindset belief, but I know that if I can be more aware of how I think, then I will make sure I create a culture in my classroom where strategies are in place for students to feel empowered by problems, not threatened by them.

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